The ways Amazonian Kichwa (Quichua) women produce, circulate, and engage with other women’s songs demonstrates that both music and radio media are significant methods for linguistic and cultural activism in the province of Napo, Ecuador. Indigenous engagements with aural mediation and media, particularly those of Indigenous women, allow for new insights within both studies of media and cultural revitalization. Media technologies alone may not be enough to return a language to daily use, but they are an important support for language activism and site of soundwork for Indigenous peoples. Focused on the convergence of new radio forms and screen-based technologies, speech has been taken as the primary dimension of soundwork, with noise and music as secondary aspects. Kichwa radio media reveals that music can also comprise a primary dimension of soundwork, which produces affective and interpersonal experiences for listeners through aural engagements that encourage the vitality of shifting languages.
The ways Amazonian Kichwa women produce, circulate, and react to songs reveal how music and musicality have become significant elements of linguistic and cultural activism in the province of Napo, Ecuador.1 In the Ecuadorian Amazon, a setting of ongoing language shift from Kichwa toward Spanish, media production has become an effective and affective technology that creates what anthropologist Bernard Perley would call emergent vitalities—new contexts and domains of use—for women’s verbal artistry and cultural knowledge.2 Joshua Fishman, an early advocate of language revitalization, once questioned whether media hold the affective and interpersonal power needed to revitalize a language.3 Such a view of media assumes their passive reception and ignores the various activities involved in producing, circulating, receiving, and interpreting various media objects. Indigenous engagements with aural mediation and media, particularly those of Indigenous women, create space for new insights within both studies of media and cultural revitalization. The practices and perspectives of the people positioned at this intersection of ethnicity and gender are some of the least heard in studies of media and activism, though they have long engaged in both areas.4 Long seen as overshadowed by men, Amazon Kichwa women are becoming increasingly visible in both politics and media production.5
Among Kichwa speakers in the Ecuadorian Amazon, song is a particularly potent medium. Elsewhere in the Amazon, anthropologist Michael Brown has called music “a technology of sentiment”—a form of practice through which people relate to and influence the environment, and each other.6 In Napo, song is imbued with power central to the conjunction of spiritual and medicinal practices usually translated as shamanism. In Kichwa, those who engage in these practices might be called pajuyuk, possessing particular abilities or skills to heal, as well as yachak, literally “one who knows.”7 Songs are known to mediate the relationships between their singers and important nonhuman beings, as when a Kichwa woman sings to a tree to ask permission to gather its medicine or to her manioc crops to encourage them to grow. Yet a woman’s song can also mediate more intimate relationships between the singer and her family members, such as an errant spouse or a child who has left home.8 And songs may mediate relationships with the dead. In Napo, as well as elsewhere in Ecuador, Kichwa women are known to sing as they cry at funerals and when remembering the dead.9 The affective, interpersonal power of women’s often private songs are re-embedded—a process scholars of media have termed remediation—in the music publicly produced and transmitted as part of cultural activism in Napo.10
The significance of song and musicality in Upper Napo Kichwa radio and performance media draws attention to the importance of affect in soundwork. Michele Hilmes unites the wide range of media through which sound is shaped and transmitted under the term soundwork, which she describes as “media forms that are primarily aural, employing the three basic elements of sonic expression—music, speech, and noise—to create a lively economy of commodities and institutions.”11 The concept of soundwork tends to focus on the convergence of new radio forms and screen-based technologies—think for instance of the boom in podcasts and other aural media—such that speech is one of the primary dimensions of soundwork, with music and noise positioned as secondary elements.12 The ways speakers of Upper Napo Kichwa utilize music highlight how song and musicality can also be the primary dimensions of soundwork. Many of the ways Upper Napo Kichwa people engage with music and radio media expand the idea of soundwork to include not just the media texts and institutional platforms and relationships that emerge to support their circulation but also the intimate and affective experiences produced by interactions with sound. It is these intimate and affective experiences that make music such a potent form of soundwork for language revitalization projects in Napo.
Music and musicality are important domains of daily linguistic life in many Amazonian Kichwa households, but ones that are still shifting. The daily sounds of a Kichwa home are shaped by broadcast radio emerging from cellphones, small portable radios, and larger stereos, as well as recorded music passed around on thumb drives or pirated CDs.13 Many families continue to make music together at home or for regional celebrations and other events. Nevertheless, many genres of song are not being acquired at home at the rate needed to ensure their daily use among young people growing up in the 2000s. The poetics of these genres of music have found emergent vitalities through their deployment in public spaces, such as the radio, as well as live performances and even political meetings.14 In Napo, music represents an area that some have identified as in need of maintenance and revitalization, as well as a possible method to encourage such renewal.
Indigenous engagements with media for linguistic activism reveal the ongoing importance of media for language and cultural revitalization projects. Where colonialism has disrupted intergenerational transmission, media has emerged as a counter to the disruption of linguistic and cultural practice, from short pedagogical films in Ojibwe to the use of Aboriginal community cinema to imagine Indigenous futures.15 In Napo, the ongoing expansion of settler society and extractive industries has reshaped daily life, such that many adolescents and children growing up in the early decades of the 21st century are no longer learning Kichwa. Music is one of the primary ways that Upper Napo Kichwa people continue to transmit significant cultural poetics and knowledge across generations. New vitalities for Kichwa emerge from the circulation of significant cultural poetics across different spaces—cultural organizations, live performances, radio broadcasts, and households, as well as other sites of reception. Media objects as forms of soundwork may not be enough to return a language to daily use, but their production, circulation, and reception are important ways of reestablishing or strengthening a communicative world undergoing language shift.
Neo-colonialism and Cultural Change in the Ecuadorian Amazon
Napo, Ecuador, is a province that spans the Andes and the Amazon. Following the Spaniards’ arrival in the 1500s, Indigenous peoples of the region fiercely and subtly resisted intrusions from outsiders.16 Kichwa-speaking residents of Napo and other provinces of the Ecuadorian Amazon are most likely the descendants of Amazonian groups who were brought into missionary centers that “reduced” widely dispersed populations during the colonial period.17 During the colonial reduction period, violence, forced labor, and foreign disease, combined with armed resistance and outmigration, led to significant declines in local populations.18 Kichwa residents of Napo are Indigenous survivors of historical colonial violence who emerged speaking a shared language.19 According to the latest census carried out in 2010, there are approximately 47,000 Kichwa speakers in Napo.20
Indigenous residents of Napo have experienced rapid and interlinked social, cultural, and environmental changes resulting from contemporary settler colonialism coupled with the arrival of extractive industries, which accelerated from the 1960s onwards.21 For much of the period after the Spanish invasion, Napo remained rather peripheral to the colonial system, due in part to the difficulties involved in traversing steep Andean mountains that plunge into dense forests.22 Beginning in the 1920s, missionaries and mineral extraction reshaped the landscape. A new wave of Italian Josephine missionaries arrived in Napo, following the trails of North American geologists from Standard Oil in the 1920s.23 Although production did not really take off until the 1940s with the arrival of Shell Oil, almost a century later, in the 2020s, petroleum production threatens lifeways and ecosystems throughout the Ecuadorian Amazon.24 Land reforms during the 1960s and ’70s intended to ease rural poverty and landlessness in the highlands and coast opened supposedly “unused” territories of the Amazon to new settlers.25 The arrival of new settlers and industries radically changed Amazonian Kichwa land tenure practices, which had revolved around migratory, forest-based subsistence farming, hunting, and gathering on land shared by custom among multigenerational households.26
Kichwa people have actively engaged with the shifting social world around them and have developed new linguistic and economic practices to support themselves in the context of new settler colonial pressures. Near the colonial town of Archidona, for instance, the Pueblo Kichwa de Rukullakta was founded as a cattle cooperative in order to gain access to land title and government funding for development projects.27 Elsewhere in Napo, some families sought individual titles, which have been frequently subdivided into ever-shrinking parcels among subsequent generations.28 The reshaping of daily life associated with changes in land tenure and the expansion of settler society in Napo have also interrupted the spaces for intergenerational transmission of Kichwa language and verbal art.
Children and young adults from Amazonian Kichwa families are increasingly learning Spanish as their primary language of interaction, but this is a relatively new phenomenon. As Jenny Davis suggests, language shift must be understood within the complex socio-historical dynamics under settler colonialism that produce ruptures in transmission.29 Elder adults in Napo recounted during ethnographic research carried out between 2015 and 2017 that their families sometimes retreated into the forest when non-Indigenous outsiders arrived in their communities during the 1950s. Missionaries slowly broke down resistance to schooling during the 20th century. Elders and adults also describe time spent at boarding schools, where they were often punished for speaking Kichwa. Education and knowledge of Spanish have increasingly come to represent paths toward upward mobility for young Kichwa adults, contributing to the devaluation of Kichwa. In this context, Kichwa men in Napo have learned more Spanish and engaged in wage labor outside of their homes, sometimes traveling to other provinces, repeating similar patterns as men in other regions.30 Seemingly monolingual Kichwa women may be perceptive passive bilinguals, understanding a great deal of Spanish but sometimes lacking fluency or confidence in speech. Some wield these hidden skills to their advantage in interactions with often discriminatory or patronizing outsiders. In the early decades of the 21st century, elder women (above 60) are still often monolingual in Kichwa, though many women in their forties and fifties are often much less confident in Spanish than in Kichwa.
These generational speech patterns are in the process of reversing in many communities in Napo, where young people are more often passively receptive to Kichwa, with greater skills in Spanish. Many Kichwa children are encouraged to speak Spanish by their families, while they also learn the language in school, and further speak it as the primary code among their peers. Although bilingual education is ostensibly an option for some students in Napo, Indigenous languages are frequently taught as second languages in Ecuadorian classrooms, while classes are carried out in Spanish. There are still young adults and children who are fluent in Kichwa living in or near urban areas in Napo, but many adults and elders worry that children no longer want to speak or learn Kichwa. Particularly worrying for many elders is that their children and grandchildren are “forgetting” genres of linguistic practice as well as cultural knowledge passed down through what many call the “words our elders left.” These include practices of music and musicality whose use is in decline. But Kichwa and other Indigenous Ecuadorians have not just acquiesced to cultural change.
The wider social and economic position of Kichwa in Ecuadorian society has been significant for encouraging language shift toward Spanish, as well as for supporting people in the effort to shift back toward Kichwa. Both a desire to reconnect with their familial culture and new opportunities for employment in politics, public service, and community-based tourism may lead young people to reclaim their heritage language. Juliet Erazo has suggested that Indigenous organizations and activism in Napo did not emerge only in opposition to the state, but also by “engaging with opportunities provided by the state.”31 In the case of language revitalization, state support for intercultural initiatives, as well as funding from NGOs, have contributed to making knowledge of Kichwa a valuable skill for employment and have provided funding for media production and other public events. For many young women, knowledge of Kichwa language and culture can be turned to both artistic and political ends. Community-produced media, particularly media incorporating song, are one method Upper Napo Kichwa cultural activists have used as they seek to heal intergenerational ruptures in transmission and revitalize significant linguistic and cultural practices. Kichwa women have come to the forefront of such cultural activism in Napo, although their contributions have often been ignored or undervalued when compared to those of men.
Gendered Politics in Ecuador
The issue of gender relationships in Napo—and the Amazon more broadly—is a complex topic. Several scholars of the Andes argue that Indigeneity is itself feminized, such that to be an Indigenous woman is to be perceived as more Indigenous.32 Kichwa women’s gender and ethnicity produce a double marginalization within Ecuadorian society.33 Indigenous women in Napo are subject to racialized and gendered discrimination, harassment, and violence. Kichwa women also pride themselves on their strength, and it is a great compliment to be called a shinzhi warmi, a strong woman.34 Upper Napo Kichwa gender relationships are characterized by an ideology of complementarity between men and women, often reflected in ideals about gendered divisions of labor. Anthropologists such as Michael Uzendoski have noted that relationships of exchange involving meat hunted by men and manioc grown by women are central to the reproduction of Amazonian Kichwa social life.35 Francesca Mezzenzana suggests that among Kichwa speakers in neighboring Pastaza province, gender differences are understood as given, though a person also acquires the proper embodied comportment of gender over an extended period, slowly shaping the self into one that is properly warmi (female) or kari (male).36 Muratorio also shows that Kichwa ideas about gender and sex have been influenced by missionaries or others such that in “[Upper Napo Kichwa] society gender subjectivities have been contested dialogues, not only between men and women, but between indigenous peoples and the wider nonindigenous world.”37 Like other dimensions of Kichwa social life such as shamanism, gender ideologies and relationships are not hermetically sealed but have emerged in relationship with and in response to changing social and historical dynamics.38
The simultaneous importance and marginalization of Indigenous women is a recurring theme in Ecuadorian politics and activism, where their contributions are often unrecognized. Political and cultural activism are often joined in Napo and in Indigenous social movements more broadly in Ecuador. Manuela Piqc suggests that women have played a significant role in Indigenous Ecuadorian social movements, but their voices and contributions are often unheard.39 Dolores Cacuango, a Highland Kichwa woman, is one woman who is often recognized for her work organizing on behalf of Indigenous rights to land and bilingual education. In what was one of the last Latin American countries to give voting rights to illiterate people in 1978, Indigenous Ecuadorians were excluded from suffrage due to their exclusion from education. Cacuango’s work in education and literacy was foundational for the powerful Indigenous social movements that reshaped Ecuadorian politics in the 1980s and ’90s.40 Cacuango’s role as a well-known female leader in Indigenous politics is often the exception rather than the rule.
The position of Indigenous Ecuadorian women in politics continues to shift. Kichwa women often move through what Picq has called a “geography of exclusion.”41 According to Muratorio, in pan-Indigenous social movements “nationally and in the Amazon, these organizations have been almost exclusively led by men.”42 Erazo shows that a major change has taken place in Napo, as women have come to play an increasingly visible role in formal Kichwa politics. Notably, space for women in formal politics only emerged in 2000, as “a new Ecuadorian election law required that at least 30 percent of the candidates on political party lists be women.”43 One way that young women enter politics is through their participation in cultural pageants, which create opportunities for young women to make a name for themselves and practice public speaking. Several young women from Napo active in regional and national politics began their careers as pageant contestants before transitioning to work in media production, especially as radio and television hosts. This includes Rita Tunay, one of my main interlocuters in Napo, who co-hosted a Kichwa-language radio program for a municipal government for several years. In 2019, Tunay was elected as vice-governor of Napo as the running mate of Dr. Edison Chavez, an older, non-Indigenous man. Tunay became governor in late 2019 when Chavez unexpectedly died following surgery. Tunay’s dramatic rise to power illustrates a path from pageant contestant to politician that has been walked by other women in Napo, including Gabriela Cerda, one of Napo’s representatives in Ecuador’s National Assembly. The status of Indigenous women is changing in Ecuadorian politics, but they continue to encounter marginalization and exclusion.
More Kichwa women are now more active in areas like media and politics, but the dichotomy between public and private remains significant in the lives of many women in Napo. Upper Napo Kichwa women’s engagements with various forms of media remain largely unexplored, as do women’s contributions to media production in many other settings. As Lacey and Hilmes observe, “[women’s] voices, words, and soundmaking have often been muted or marginalized at best, and censored or silenced at worst.”44 Indeed, the majority of Kichwa music produced and performed publicly in Napo is made by men. Yet women in Napo are known to sing often in private or more intimate settings, while some take the stage before larger crowds.45 An organization of Kichwa midwives is one group of women who regularly participate in public performance and media production aimed at cultural activism and renewal, challenging norms at the same time as they seek to maintain cultural practices.
The Association of Kichwa Midwives of Upper Napo (AMUPAKIN) is a group that has not simply acquiesced to cultural change but has sought to make their cultural practices, knowledge, and language visible—and legible—within the constraints of an expanding neo-colonial society.46 Following a wave of Indigenous action in Ecuador, the association first emerged in the early 1990s and later grew after receiving financial support from external organizations such as the Red Cross. AMUPAKIN illustrates the contradictory positions and hidden contributions of Indigenous women to social movement politics. As a public organization founded and run by women, the now-elder members of AMUPAKIN are somewhat unusual in Napo, where public politics have historically been dominated by men.
A Kichwa woman named María Antonia Shiguango founded AMUPAKIN in the early 1990s as a health and cultural center, uniting women of the region. The association provides culturally-appropriate medical care for expectant mothers and other patients. AMUPAKIN is also an educational center that offers its services to both community members and regional and international tourists. María Antonia and other members speak passionately about protecting and transmitting linguistic and cultural practices to a new generation. She dreams of establishing a school for young people that focuses on knowledge of the forest. Members of AMUPAKIN also see their work as just that—a form of labor through which they can use their skills to earn money to support themselves, their families, and their goals. Although few of the women in AMUPAKIN have held formal political positions, they are a politically-active group that engages in advocacy for cultural, environmental, and gender-based rights. AMUPAKIN is also very well known among regional audiences, as the group regularly participates in local political celebrations and parades, cultural performance events and contests, and many other public events. Despite their popularity, the organization’s members have discussed the many challenges they faced in creating AMUPAKIN, including disapproval—and for some, violence—from male partners who did not believe they should engage in public work. Kichwa women occupy a paradoxical position in Napo, celebrated for their strength and knowledge but still subject to discrimination or violence from men, including within their own families.
In Napo, women’s media production has largely been examined in terms of their participation in cultural beauty pageants. Mark Rogers and Michael Wroblewski separately have suggested that young women who participate in Kichwa cultural pageants perform essentialized images of Indigenous femininity, inhabiting roles that are more ideal than “real.”47 Absent the perspective of the participants, such analyses ignore young women’s creativity and agency in shaping the production of their routines and presentations, the involvement of their families or communities in designing and creating different costumes and scenes, and the strategic ways some young women have been able to leverage their participation in cultural pageantry toward careers in media and politics. These analyses also ignore those who go on to live the kinds of lives they once performed on stage, marrying and settling down as chagra mamaguna (gardening mothers), who support their families through agroforestry. A nearly singular focus on young women’s participation in media through cultural pageantry also erases the growing number of women of various ages in Napo—such as the elder women of AMUPAKIN—involved in other forms of media production. In Napo, Kichwa women do more media work than suggested by the emphasis on cultural pageantry—they work part- or full time as dancers, singers, cultural performers, media producers, digital designers, or hosts of radio and television broadcasts. Despite their invisibility, women’s engagements with media and the intimate publics produced by them are key to ongoing cultural activism.
Amazonian Technologies of Sentiment
One evening, while listening to the radio, ruku mama (grandmother) Serafina Grefa directed our attention to a song that had begun to play and said, “Listen…we are listening to a lament [wakashka].” As the haunting verses of the song “Yapa Wakak Mama (Llanto y Cariño de Mama” [“The Crying Mother (A Mother’s Lament and Love)”] played through her kitchen, Serafina explained, “When I hear that, I really feel like crying, poor thing.” The song focuses on the relationship between a mother and daughter, describing the sadness a daughter will feel upon her mother’s death. As the song continued, recounting the ways the daughter remembers her absent mother when visiting her chagra agroforestry garden or the river, Serafina also began to sing to and for her own mother while she cried. Despite the regularity with which elderly Serafina would cry while she sang, few of her adult daughters engaged in the practice, nor did any of her granddaughters appear to cry in this way. Yet, in Napo, the idea that women cry by singing is one of the defining features of embodied feminine comportment. This practice is still common among some elder women. Although young women may come to adopt the practice in later life, it certainly seems to be one that is undergoing shift.48 Like other genres of women’s song in Napo, female lament is imbricated with a larger body of practices that mediate power between people and the natural world.
What kind of soundwork is women’s song in the Upper Napo? According to Michele Hilmes, soundwork is composed of aural media and the commodities and institutions associated with them. The concept of soundwork is distinguished from “the field normally encompassed by the term ‘music’.”49 As Hilmes notes, the boundaries between music and soundwork are porous. Amazonian Kichwa uses of musicality and song expand ways we can think with soundwork. At one scale, music and song form part of a complex media ecology in Napo. Music makes up a great deal of the content of daily Kichwa-language radio media, which is widely enjoyed by radio listeners. A few of the Kichwa radio programs broadcast in Napo are hosted by women, who have described the importance of their jobs for shaping the emotions of their listeners, particularly to bring them joy. Mixing songs and other media content while speaking on air, then, is one of the forms of soundwork in which Kichwa women engage.
At other scales of mediation, the ways Kichwa people use sound can expand the edges of the idea of soundwork. Amazonian Kichwa yachakguna (scholars/doctors/shamans), for instance, report that the experience of taking the medicinal hallucinogen ayahuasca is like watching a film projected on your eyelids. Their use of whistled, hummed, and chanted songs, known as takina—as well as the subtle swishing tsh-tsh-tsh of a bundle of fragrant leaves that accompanies an ayahuasca session—is also a form of soundwork, which creates a sonic accompaniment to an embodied visual experience. These Indigenous forms of soundwork in the Amazon are technologies that mediate affect and power.
In Napo, song and music are key aspects of spiritual and medicinal practices that exert power over the environment. Although song and music are also part of a daily life lived with full enjoyment in Napo, some forms of song are what anthropologist Michael Brown has called “a technology of sentiment.” Among Chicham-speaking Aguaruna of the Peruvian Amazon, song works to control and manipulate relationships both between people and between people and their environment.50 According to Brown, the Aguaruna distinguish secular music from a genre of magical songs called anen, used in hunting, horticulture, and courtship as well as when using hallucinogenic plants.51 This hard distinction between secular and magical songs is less pronounced in Napo and other Kichwa-speaking regions of the Amazon, though elder adults sometimes distinguish between songs described as kantana (from Spanish, cantar) and genres like takina (associated with largely male-dominated forms of shamanism).52 Other important genres included virsiana (derived from Spanish verso, “verse”), usually performed at engagement and wedding celebrations, and women’s laments, known as wakana. The genre wakana, in which the singer addresses a departed person and sings of her sadness, was in turn remediated on the radio in the song “Yapa Wakak Mama.”
Women’s voices and perspectives are still largely absent from research on cultural pageantry, but scholars have learned from women in the Amazon about their musical practices. Such research is difficult to carry out, as multiple scholars note that these songs are often performed in private. Regina Harrison and Barbara Seitz each respectively describe a genre of women’s song sometimes referred to as llakichina (to cause love/sorrow), which is meant to sway the emotional states of its recipient, even when that person or being is absent.53 The power associated with women’s song to influence plants, crops, and interpersonal relationships leads Uzendoski and Calapucha-Tapuy to analyze it as a female form of shamanism, as “songs are social action, acts that attract energy, qualities, people, and power” [original emphasis].54 Harrison and Seitz focus most explicitly on the ways that women’s songs mediate relationships between the singer and human recipients, especially romantic partners, but also absent children. Swanson, meanwhile, analyzes a series of songs sung to plants, which persuade the spiritual owners of the plants through the language of love and romance to provide their medicinal powers to the singer.55 Most of these kinds of songs are performed in intimate or private locations, though women may also sing in public as part of celebrations. In such cases, women do not generally perform their more intimate or powerful songs, but rather ones that celebrate their accomplishments, knowledge, and strength.
Kichwa women may not sing in public in Napo with the same frequency as men, but the poetics of their songs have inspired a great deal of Napo Kichwa music. Women’s song gives shape to an affective public in Zizi Papacharissi’s sense, in that it is one “mobilized and connected, identified, and potentially disconnected through expressions of sentiment.”56 Uzendoski and Calapucha-Tapuy discuss the popular genre of music sometimes called runa paju or Indigenous [Runa] Magic, which was founded by cultural performer and activist Carlos Alvarado Narváez.57 A folk hero of the Ecuadorian Amazon, Alvarado Narváez has indicated that his music was inspired by a woman singing to her plants in her manioc garden. Alvarado Narváez thus wrote “Lumu Mama” (“Manioc Mother”), one of his early tunes that celebrates the hard work of female subsistence agriculturalists in a song redolent with the poetic imagery and sonic tones of traditional Upper Napo Kichwa music. Although there are fewer female singers or groups that record music in Napo, the poetics of their verbal artistry may appear through other voices. And if one listens closely, women’s voices emerge across different media forms and sites of production. The circulation of women’s verbal artistry hails the members of an intimate Kichwa-speaking public, who respond to the intimate aesthetics of women’s song.58 Unlike the affective publics of social media described by Papacharissi, which frequently converge around the referential content of written hashtags, this public is summoned through the aural and discursive poetics of women’s song.
Tuning into Women’s Song in Napo
The morning when a song of lament brought Serafina to tears, a woman young named Rita Tunay was on the other side of the radio. Before she became Napo’s governor in 2019, Rita co-hosted the radio program Mushuk Ñampi (A New Path), primarily with a young man named James Yumbo, another Kichwa speaker from Napo.59 Rita was the main voice, and face, of the program, and was responsible for a great deal of the show’s direction and planning. During my research, Rita took on an increasing role as the show’s daily producer, organizing live performances with local communities, writing the daily script, and later learning the software to queue up songs, sometimes hosting the program on her own. Indeed, that morning Rita’s voice was the only one on the air and she did not interact with James at all, suggesting that it may have been another day that she worked alone. During fieldwork between 2015 and 2017, there was one other female Kichwa radio host in Napo, Gloria Grefa, voice of a morning and evening Kichwa-language program on the Catholic station Voz de Napo.60 Both Rita’s and Gloria’s voices filled Serafina’s house that morning, alerting her to local news and then leading her in her morning prayers. These are some of the more public, and perhaps expected, ways that young women are engaging with different kinds of soundwork in Napo.
The song doubly titled in Kichwa and Spanish “Yapa Wakak Mama (Llanto y cariño de mama)” (“A Mother’s Lament”) is performed by the Kichwa cultural performance group Los Jilgueritos (Spanish, The Goldfinches), a popular troupe from the region of Tálag.61 The group is led by Silverio Grefa, an elder Kichwa man.62 Unlike the majority of Kichwa performance groups in which young women usually participate as backup dancers, most of Los Jilgueritos’ songs are performed by a young woman. And like “Yapa Wakak Mama,” which draws on the socially recognizable poetics of women’s lament (wakana), many of their other songs recontextualize the poetics of Napo Kichwa women’s verbal artistry. Such practices are some of the more unexpected forms of soundwork in which Napo Kichwa women partake. Some of this soundwork may be recorded, though the vast majority may only be captured in the hearts and minds of a few listeners or just the singer herself due to the private nature of female song.
Song was once one of the primary ways that women transmitted their personal histories and accomplishments across generations. Elder Kichwa women sometimes reflect on the ways that their mothers would sing and dance at celebrations or in intimate settings. María Antonia Shiguango, the founder of AMUPAKIN, was taught to sing by her mother. One afternoon, María Antonia was explaining how to harvest medicinal plants and she turned to the subject of song. Some women in Napo still sing to plants and trees to persuade the beings who control natural plant medicines to transmit their power to heal to them. Before she broke into song, María Antonia emphasized how Kichwa music is inspired by the sounds of the forest, explaining, “the people before, they just remembered [the songs of the birds], and when the birds sang, we just followed them, dancing along, wherever we went.” She then sang a song, which celebrated her accomplishments and knowledge as a woman and a healer:
Shinzhi warmi nishkaga
Urku pundai shayasha,
Sacha panga upisha,
Ruku sacha pambabi
Little mountain woman,
When just the toucan is singing,
When just the toucan is singing
[I’m] called a strong woman,
Standing on the high mountain
Drinking fermented manioc,
Making my feet sway
A woman who will stand
Imbibing forest medicine
Amidst the old-growth forest
With a clear vision,
Living, I stand,
Shinzhi warmi nishkaga
Urku pundai shayasha,
Sacha panga upisha,
Ruku sacha pambabi
Little mountain woman,
When just the toucan is singing,
When just the toucan is singing
[I’m] called a strong woman,
Standing on the high mountain
Drinking fermented manioc,
Making my feet sway
A woman who will stand
Imbibing forest medicine
Amidst the old-growth forest
With a clear vision,
Living, I stand,
Women like María Antonia transmit clear messages about their history and abilities through their songs. Muratorio has noted that “songs are [a] way in which women express their feelings of closeness to significant female others who were crucial in shaping their social selves.”63 As evidenced by María Antonia’s lyrics, Kichwa women’s songs are autobiographical and celebrate their strength, work ethic, or cultural knowledge. Through their verbal artistry, Napo Kichwa women create both their personal histories and collective memory.
Women’s song is an important way that the poetics of Kichwa verbal artistry continue to circulate in Napo. María Antonia wields her songs strategically to sway the emotions of her listeners and, hopefully, inspire them to action. At AMUPAKIN’s 25th anniversary celebration held in October of 2016, she addressed a mixed audience of local politicians and governmental authorities; friends and family of the members of AMUPAKIN; and an assortment of journalists, documentarians, and researchers. María Antonia detailed the history of the organization as well as the ways its members had struggled, often without support. She implored her audience not to forget the mothers of AMUPAKIN. As she did so, she began to cry and sing, utilizing the high, keening melodies of women’s lament. Her song was met with resounding applause, and more than a few tears from audience members, while her oratory and song were recorded and circulated on regional media outlets. Organizations such as AMUPAKIN create a space for intergenerational interaction and learning. They are important sites for what Wesley Leonard describes as cultural and linguistic reclamation, based on community members’ diverse goals.64
A few months after María Antonia’s emotional performance at their anniversary celebration, members of AMUPAKIN attended the Ñusta Chunta Warmi (Peach Palm Princess) cultural pageant in Archidona. Toward the beginning of the show, María Antonia became extremely excited as a young woman named Sisa Kuty took the stage and began to sing. According to María Antonia, Sisa had studied with her when she was a girl. María Antonia was very proud to see Sisa utilizing the musical skills she had passed on to her. Sisa’s songs certainly echoed many of the discursive and poetic forms that shape María Antonia’s songs, as well as those of other Kichwa-speaking women in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Sisa’s songs celebrated her intimate knowledge of the forest and the rivers, mediated by relationships with her female elders, as well as the powerful beings that inhabit the natural world. Such claims also shape the songs of strength and knowledge sung by elder women as they work their magic on plants and people. Her lyrics were reminiscent of those sung by María Antonia, as she described standing on the mountain, just as María Antonia does in some of her songs:
Achimama ñuka mama
Mana pacha ichushaga
Ñuka urku pundai shayarikpi
The Archidona mother, my mother
What she taught and left [me]
[I will] never abandon [it]
I stand at the top of the mountain.
Achimama ñuka mama
Mana pacha ichushaga
Ñuka urku pundai shayarikpi
The Archidona mother, my mother
What she taught and left [me]
[I will] never abandon [it]
I stand at the top of the mountain.
The transmission of these genres of song across generations is key to their ongoing circulation. In turn, their circulation helps to give shape to a public of women—as well as men—who are hailed by the intimate poetics of Upper Napo Kichwa women’s song on the air and in public spaces. This performance, for instance, was received by its live in-person audience as well as by those listening to a live broadcast of the event on the radio and online. Women like Serafina may, in turn, be moved to tears by these songs. Others, like María Antonia listening to Sisa Kuty sing about her knowledge of the forest and the rivers, may simply appreciate knowing that the words and melodies taught to them by their own mothers continue to be reworked in new settings, by new generations. All of these spaces—political events, cultural organizations, pageants and performances, radio broadcasts, as well as everyday interactions between women and their environment—create emergent vitalities for Upper Napo Kichwa women’s linguistic practices, which are increasingly brought into new contexts and domains of use through their mediation and amplification.
The affective poetics of Kichwa women’s song continue to circulate in the soundwork produced by young women in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Although many girls and women are now singing in new, more-public contexts, with their messages directed to broader audiences, their use of song, music, and sound very often remediates the poetics of their elders. The ways that women of various ages are engaging in soundwork and media production underscore the role of media in linguistic and cultural revitalization. The circulation of women’s songs across Napo’s mediascape reinforces a community of shared practices among Kichwa speakers in the Amazon.65 Serafina’s tearful lament in response to the song she heard on the radio shows the affective and interpersonal responses that can emerge from interactions with media. Several of her younger daughters and grandchildren accompanied her while she cried, creating a further space of transmission—and possible future use—for these significant practices.
Media are important ways to activate practices that are in decline, generate new domains of use and forms of production, and establish representational sovereignty. Joshua Fishman once questioned whether media production would be sufficient to return a language to active use.66 Both the ways media is used in Napo and a growing body of literature and community experience with media production in Indigenous languages demonstrate that media do have an effect on language revitalization as they create emergent vitalities for languages in new contexts of use.67 As tools for revitalization, media help to bring languages to life in robust ways according to the needs and wishes of different communities.
The ways that Kichwa speakers utilize sound and music, both on and off the air, also push us to think about the concept of soundwork in new ways. The outcome of soundwork is not just the lively landscape of commodities and institutions emerging from aural media, but also the affective and interpersonal dimensions produced through engagements of and experiences with sound. Both women and men in Napo may respond to the affective poetics they hear circulated on the air or at public events, helping to reinforce and amplify their linguistic practices as well as the community that engages with them. Kichwa people’s knowledge of sound and music as a form of power and action that can change the world makes plain the importance of these modalities for cultural activism in the Amazon and beyond.
Orthographic conventions for the Quechuan languages spoken in Ecuador are complex; see Nicholas Limerick, “Kichwa or Quichua? Competing Alphabets, Political Histories, and Complicated Reading in Indigenous Languages,” Comparative Education Review 62, no. 1 (December 21, 2017): 103–24. Many readers will be more familiar with Quichua, the Ecuadorian branch of the Quechuan language family. Elsewhere I have used the spelling Quichua as it remains a widely accepted, English-language standard (Georgia Ennis, “Multimodal Chronotopes: Embodying Ancestral Time on Quichua Morning Radio,” Signs and Society 7, no. 1 (2019): 6–36). Here, I use the standardized Unified Kichwa orthography adopted by most political and cultural organizations in Ecuador. Orthographic choices for individual lexemes and transcripts reflect the rough phonetic pronunciation used by the speaker, rather than the standardized orthography. Where appropriate, I capitalize the term Indigenous to recognize the political sovereignty of a diverse group of global peoples with a shared experience under colonialism. See Taiaiake Alfred and Jeff Corntassel, “Being Indigenous: Resurgences against Contemporary Colonialism,” Government and Opposition 40, no. 4 (2005): 597; Glen Sean Coulthard, Indigenous Americas: Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014), 181.
Bernard Perley, Defying Maliseet Language Death: Emergent Vitalities of Language, Culture, and Identity in Eastern Canada (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2011).
Joshua A. Fishman, Reversing Language Shift: Theoretical and Empirical Foundations of Assistance to Threatened Languages (Clevedon; Philadelphia: Multilingual Matters, 1991).
Kate Lacey and Michele Hilmes, “Editors’ Introduction, Women and Soundwork,” Feminist Media Histories 1, no. 4 (October 1, 2015): 1–4, https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2015.1.4.1; Manuela Lavinas Picq, Vernacular Sovereignties: Indigenous Women Challenging World Politics (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2018).
Blanca Muratorio, “Amazonian Windows to the Past: Recovering Women’s Histories of the Ecuadorean Amazon,” in Articulating Hidden Histories: Exploring the Influence of Eric R. Wolf, eds. Rayna Rapp and Jane Schneider (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 322–35.
Michael F. Brown, Tsewa’s Gift: Magic and Meaning in an Amazonian Society (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2007).
Michael Uzendoski and Edith Felicia Calapucha-Tapuy, The Ecology of the Spoken Word: Amazonian Storytelling and Shamanism Among the Napo Runa (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2012); Juliet Erazo and Christopher Jarrett, “Managing Alterity from Within: The Ontological Turn in Anthropology and Indigenous Efforts to Shape Shamanism,” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 24, no. 1 (2018): 145–63, https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9655.12756.
Barbara Seitz, “Llaquichina Songs of the Sachua Huarmi (Jungle Woman) and Their Role in Transformational Communication Events in the Ecuadorian Oriente” (PhD diss., Indiana University, 1982).
Rachel Corr, Ritual and Remembrance in the Ecuadorian Andes, First Peoples (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2010).
J. David Bolter and Richard Grusin, Remediation: Understanding New Media (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999); Teri Silvio, “Remediation and Local Globalizations: How Taiwan’s ‘Digital Video Knights-Errant Puppetry’ Writes the History of the New Media in Chinese,” Cultural Anthropology 22, no. 2 (May 1, 2007): 285–313.
Michele Hilmes, “On a Screen Near You: The New Soundwork Industry,” Cinema Journal 52, no. 3 (July 17, 2013): 177, https://doi.org/10.1353/cj.2013.0021.
Michele Hilmes, “The New Materiality of Radio: Sound on Screens,” in Radio’s New Wave: Global Sound in the Digital Era, eds. Jason Loviglio and Michele Hilmes (London: Taylor & Francis Group, 2013), 60.
Floyd discusses the circulation of pirated media among Kichwa speakers in the Ecuadorian Highlands. Simeon Floyd, “The Pirate Media Economy and the Emergence of Quichua Language Media Spaces in Ecuador,” Anthropology of Work Review 29, no. 2 (October 2008): 34–41.
R. Bauman and Charles L. Briggs, “Poetics and Performance as Critical Perspectives on Language and Social Life,” Annual Review of Anthropology 19, no. 1 (January 1, 1990): 59–88; Roman Jakobson, “Poetry of Grammar and Grammar of Poetry,” Poetics Today 2, no. 1a (1968): 83–85.
Mary Hermes, Megan Bang, and Ananda Marin, “Designing Indigenous Language Revitalization,” Harvard Educational Review 82, no. 3 (2012): 381–402; Faye Ginsburg, “From Little Things, Big Things Grow: Indigenous Media and Cultural Activism,” in Between Resistance and Revolution: Cultural Politics and Social Protest, eds. Richard Fox and Orin Start (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1997), 118–44; William Lempert, “Generative Hope in the Postapocalyptic Present,” Cultural Anthropology 33, no. 2 (May 21, 2018): 202–12, https://doi.org/10.14506/ca33.2.04.
Udo Oberem, Los Quijos: Historia de La Transculturación de Un Grupo Indígena En El Oriente Ecuatoriano (Otavalo, Ecuador: Instituto Otavaleño de Antropología, 1980); Blanca Muratorio, The Life and Times of Grandfather Alonso, Culture and History in the Upper Amazon, Rucuyaya Alonso y La Historia Social y Económica Del Alto Napo, 1850–1950 (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1991).
Oberem, Los Quijos, 84, 101.
Oberem, 99; France-Marie Renard-Casevitz, Thierry Saignes, and Anne Christine Taylor, Al Este de Los Andes: Relaciones Entre Las Sociedades Amazónicas y Andinas Entre Los Siglos XV y XVII (Quito; Lima: Ediciones Abya-Yala; Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos, 1988).
Kichwa is widely dispersed across Ecuador, but it is also characterized by significant regional variations; see Lawrence K. Carpenter, “Ecuadorian Quichua: Descriptive Sketch and Variation” (PhD diss., University of Florida, 1982). The Kichwa languages spoken in the Amazon are distinguished from those spoken in the Andean Highlands by their phonological systems, morphological forms, syntactic patterns, and lexical items. See Karolina Grzech, Anne Schwarz, and Georgia Ennis, “Divided We Stand, Unified We Fall? The Impact of Standardisation on Oral Language Varieties: A Case Study of Amazonian Kichwa,” Revista de Llengua i Dret, Journal of Language and Law 7 (2019): 123–45. Although scholars such as Montaluisa minimize these differences, many speakers in the lowlands report comprehension difficulties across regions. See Luis Montaluisa, “La Estandarización Ortográfica Del Quichua Ecuatoriano: Consideraciones Históricas, Dialectológicas y Sociolingüísticas,” Pontifica Universidad Católica del Perú, 2018. The revitalization of Kichwa is especially complex due to these regional histories.
INEC, Base de Datos de Resultados Del Censo de Población y Vivienda 2010 en El Software Redatam, Censo de Población y de Vivienda- cpv 2010-Aplicación de R+SP xPlan. (Quito: Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas y Censos de Ecuador: Centro Latinoamericano de Desarrollo Empresarial-Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CELADE-CEPAL), 2010), http://redatam.inec.gob.ec/cgibin/RpWebEngine.exe/PortalAction?BASE=CPV2010.
Juliet Erazo, Governing Indigenous Territories: Enacting Sovereignty in the Ecuadorian Amazon (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013); Michael Uzendoski, The Napo Runa of Amazonian Ecuador, Interpretations of Culture in the New Millennium (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2005); Theodore Macdonald, Ethnicity and Culture Amidst New “Neighbors”: The Runa of Ecuador’s Amazon Region (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1999).
Oberem, Los Quijos, 106, 114; Muratorio, The Life and Times of Grandfather Alonso, Culture and History in the Upper Amazon, 2–3.
Oberem, Los Quijos, 116; Muratorio, The Life and Times of Grandfather Alonso, Culture and History in the Upper Amazon, 166.
Suzana Sawyer, Crude Chronicles: Indigenous Politics, Multinational Oil, and Neoliberalism in Ecuador (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004); Michael Uzendoski, “Amazonia and the Cultural Politics of Extractivism: Sumak Kawsay and Block 20 of Ecuador,” Cultural Studies 32, no. 3 (May 4, 2018): 364–88.
Erazo, Governing Indigenous Territories.
Theodore Macdonald, “Processes of Change in Amazonian Ecuador: Quijos Quichua Indians Become Cattlemen” (PhD diss., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1979); Macdonald, Ethnicity and Culture Amidst New “Neighbors.”
Erazo, Governing Indigenous Territories, 59–60.
Macdonald, Ethnicity and Culture Amidst New “Neighbors,” 88.
Jenny L. Davis, “Resisting Rhetorics of Language Endangerment: Reclamation Through Indigenous Language Survivance,” Language Documentation and Description 14 (2017): 41–42.
Picq, Vernacular Sovereignties, 41.
Erazo, Governing Indigenous Territories, 59.
Mary Weismantel, Cholas and Pishtacos: Stories of Race and Sex in the Andes (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001); Andrew Canessa, Intimate Indigeneities: Race, Sex, and History in the Small Spaces of Andean Life (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012); Marisol de la Cadena, Indigenous Mestizos: The Politics of Race and Culture in Cuzco, Peru, 1919–1991 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2000); Picq, Vernacular Sovereignties.
Picq, Vernacular Sovereignties, 39.
Janis Nuckolls, Lessons from a Quechua Strongwoman: Ideophony, Dialogue, and Perspective (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2010).
Michael Uzendoski, “Manioc Beer and Meat: Value, Reproduction and Cosmic Substance Among the Napo Runa of the Ecuadorian Amazon,” Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute 10 (2004): 883–902.
Francesca Mezzenzana, “Difference Revised: Gender and Transformation Among the Amazonian Runa,” Ethnos 83, no. 5 (August 16, 2017): 1–20.
Blanca Muratorio, “Indigenous Women’s Identities and the Politics of Cultural Reproduction in the Ecuadorian Amazon,” American Anthropologist, New Series 100, no. 2 (June 1, 1998): 410.
Erazo and Jarrett, “Managing Alterity from Within.”
Picq, Vernacular Sovereignties.
Muratorio, “Indigenous Women’s Identities and the Politics of Cultural Reproduction in the Ecuadorian Amazon,” 410.
Erazo, Governing Indigenous Territories, 185.
Lacey and Hilmes, “Editors’ Introduction, Women and Soundwork,” 1.
Uzendoski and Calapucha-Tapuy, The Ecology of the Spoken Word.
Although it is beyond the scope of this article, the media created and circulated in Napo also emerges through the engagement of Kichwa activists and performers with state agencies and national and international NGOs. Media are not just directed toward and shaped in relation to local Kichwa-speaking audiences, but also to wider audiences with their own ideas of Indigeneity. See Laura R. Graham and H. Glenn Penny, Performing Indigeneity: Global Histories and Contemporary Experiences (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014); Francis Thompson Hutchins and Patrick C. Wilson, eds., Editing Eden: A Reconsideration of Identity, Politics, and Place in Amazonia (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2010).
Michael Wroblewski, “Public Indigeneity, Language Revitalization, and Intercultural Planning in a Native Amazonian Beauty Pageant,” American Anthropologist 116, no. 1 (March 1, 2014): 65–80; Mark Rogers, “Spectacular Bodies: Folklorization and the Politics of Identity in Ecuadorian Beauty Pageants,” Journal of Latin American Anthropology 3, no. 2 (March 1, 1998): 54–85.
See also Regina Harrison, Signs, Songs, and Memory in the Andes: Translating Quechua Language and Culture (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1989); Seitz, “Llaquichina Songs of the Sachua Huarmi (Jungle Woman) and Their Role in Transformational Communication Events in the Ecuadorian Oriente.”
Hilmes, “The New Materiality of Radio: Sound on Screens,” 60.
Brown, Tsewa’s Gift Magic and Meaning in an Amazonian Society, 133–34.
See also Uzendoski and Calapucha-Tapuy, The Ecology of the Spoken Word, 81.
Harrison, Signs, Songs, and Memory in the Andes; Seitz, “Llaquichina Songs of the Sachua Huarmi (Jungle Woman) and Their Role in Transformational Communication Events in the Ecuadorian Oriente.”
Uzendoski and Calapucha-Tapuy, The Ecology of the Spoken Word, 81.
Tod D Swanson, “Singing to Estranged Lovers: Runa Relations to Plants in the Ecuadorian Amazon,” Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture 3, no. 1 (March 2009): 36–65.
“Affective Publics and Structures of Storytelling: Sentiment, Events and Mediality,” Information, Communication & Society 19, no. 3 (March 3, 2016): 311, https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2015.1109697.
Uzendoski and Calapucha-Tapuy, The Ecology of the Spoken Word, 177.
Michael Warner, Publics and Counterpublics (New York: Zone Books, 2002).
In many dialects of Kichwa/Quechua, the word ñampi may mean “on a new path.” In the Ecuadorian Lowlands the word ñampi simply means “path.”
There were four daily Kichwa programs broadcast during my research in Napo between 2015 and 2017. Two of the four were hosted or co-hosted by men, one by a woman, and one co-hosted by a mixed team. An additional show broadcast on Sunday evenings on one station was hosted by a man.
I did not interview Los Jilgueritos during dissertation research. As of this writing, I have been unable to locate the name of the young woman who sings many of their songs, although the name of the elder man who leads the group can be found after some searching online. This is suggestive of the ongoing erasure of women’s contributions to media production.
Marco Yunga, “Takina: Canto y Sonido de Los Napo Runa,” Patrimonio Cultural Inmaterial 1, no. 3 (2011): 24–28.
Muratorio, “Indigenous Women’s Identities and the Politics of Cultural Reproduction in the Ecuadorian Amazon,” 416.
In the field of language revitalization, reclamation sometimes refers to the revival of a language that is no longer actively spoken. Leonard and other scholars offer another use of the term, based on the idea that heritage language communities can define their own goals as they reclaim the right to speak their languages. Haley De Korne and Wesley Leonard. “Reclaiming Languages: Contesting and Decolonising ‘Language Endangerment’ from the Ground Up,” Language Documentation and Description 14 (2017): 5–14.
Penelope Eckert and Sally McConnell-Ginet, “Think Practically and Look Locally: Language and Gender as Community-Based Practice,” Annual Review of Anthropology 21 (1992): 461–90.
Fishman, Reversing Language Shift.
Jenny L. Davis, Talking Indian: Identity and Language Revitalization in the Chickasaw Renaissance (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2018); Leighton C. Peterson, “Tuning in to Navajo: The Role of Radio in Native Language Maintenance,” in Teaching Indigenous Languages, ed. Jon Reyhner (Flagstaff: Northern Arizona University, 1997), 214–21; Leighton C. Peterson, “Reflections on Navajo Publics, ‘New’ Media, and Documentary Futures,” in Engaging Native American Publics: Linguistic Anthropology in a Collaborative Key, eds. Paul V. Kroskrity and Barbra A. Meek (London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2017), 169–83; C. M. Kaliko Baker, “Hawaiian Medium Theatre and the Language Revitalization Movement: A Means to Reestablishing Mauli Hawai‘i,” in The Routledge Handbook of Language Revitalization, eds. Leanne Hinton, Leena Huss, and Gerald Roche (New York: Routledge, 2018), 227–35; Erin Debenport, “As the Rez Turns: Anomalies Within and Beyond the Boundaries of a Pueblo Community,” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 35, no. 2 (January 1, 2011): 87–110; Paul V. Kroskrity and Barbra A. Meek, Engaging Native American Publics, xi, 207 (London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2017); Patrick Eisenlohr, “Language Revitalization and New Technologies: Cultures of Electronic Mediation and the Refiguring of Communities,” Annual Review of Anthropology 33, no. 1 (October 2004): 21–45; Mark Camp and Agnes Portalewska, “The Electronic Drum: Community Radio’s Role in Reversing Indigenous Language Decline,” Cultural Survival Quarterly (March 2013); Pamela Wilson and Michelle Stewart, Global Indigenous Media: Cultures, Poetics, and Politics (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008).